Later today, then, a judge with the US International Trade Commission, or ITC, filed an initial determination that said that Samsung is actually in violation of one of Apple’s iPhone design patents, as well as three other software patents. Two other claims were found not to be infringement.
Judge Thomas Pender filed the ruling today, according to CNET, which could lead to sales bans of Samsung products that contain the infringing software and design features. Of course, it will take the full commission of the ITC to make such a trade ban recommendation.
Samsung made a statement after the ruling that says, in effect, that the ITC ruling will lead to higher priced devices and that it is confident a final determination by the trade organization will find it blameless, reports CNET.
If left to stand, this initial determination could lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices for the American consumer. We remain confident that the full commission will ultimately reach a final determination that affirms our position that patent law must not be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products for American consumers.
Apple has not commented.
The original complaint came in July of 2012. In it, Apple accused Samsung of infringing utility and design patents in a variety of the Korean tech giant’s smartphones and tablets, including the Galaxy Tab. Apple pulled some of the patents at a later date, and refined some specifics in several others. All the complaints refer to older devices in this suit, while newer ones are named in a separate complaint which has not yet been ruled on.
The ITC hopes to make a final determination by mid-February of 2013.
With all the conflicting rulings happening here and abroad, is it any wonder that consumers are just sick of the whole thing?